Haiti links: Residents protest plan to destroy shantytowns; land tenure headaches; contraband crackdown
More than 1,000 Haitians marched through the Caribbean nation’s capital Monday to protest a reported plan to destroy their hillside shanties for a flood-control project before they find better, more permanent dwellings in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Police fired tear gas in an attempt to control the protesters, some of whom threw rocks.
The protesters said President Michel Martelly fell short on his promise to build homes destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. The disaster destroyed tens of thousands of houses in the capital and other cities in the south, and officials said 314,000 people died.
“Martelly didn’t build any houses. How can he destroy our homes?’’ said 22-year-old Joel Jean-Pierre. “If he comes to destroy our homes we’re going to burn down Petionville.’’
Le Nouvelliste comments on the affair via cartoon, pictured above.
2. Ilio Durandis for the Caribbean Journal on the intractable issue of land tenure in Haiti:
The affinity of the Haitian population to their land remains one of the few traits inherited from colonial era. For the peasants, the land is their savings account. For those in big cities, land ownership is a sign of prestige and wealth. However, not everyone who claims to be a land owner can legally prove their ownership.
A stalemate is slowly brewing, as countless volumes of documents were lost at the land title registrar building in Haiti right after the earthquake in January 2010. At present, it is a very complicated matter to prove rightful ownership to a piece of land in Haiti.
It is even more problematic to do so with squatters and trespassers living and building on one’s property.
Read the entire thing here.
3. Le Nouvelliste on a Monday meeting of government officials about cracking down on smuggling and trafficking (fr). Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe says he’s committed to shutting down illicit trade on the Haiti-Dominican Republic border, which he visited last weekend.
Cartoon via Le Nouvelliste